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#07-213 August 6, 2007

Courtesy watercraft inspections offered Aug. 4-5 by DNR in Lowcountry

During the upcoming weekend in Charleston, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources will be offering courtesy watercraft inspections Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 4-5, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. at the following locations:

The courtesy watercraft inspections provide an opportunity for boaters to have their safety equipment and vessels inspected prior to getting out on the water.
           
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Law Enforcement Lt. Chisolm Frampton said: "Boaters should pay special attention with keeping their safety equipment up to date. Boaters should inspect their lifejackets to ensure that they are in good serviceable condition and without tears or holes. The boat operator is responsible for having a proper fitting U.S. Coast Guard type II lifejacket for all passengers on board. It is especially important to check the size and fit of lifejacket for children. Our courtesy boat inspections are a proactive way to give boaters this opportunity before launching their vessels."
           
Before going out on the water, DNR recommends that boaters file a float plan. Obeying boating rules and regulations will help to avoid problematic situations that may unexpectedly arise while on the water. Additionally, DNR’s  Frampton reminds the public that while it is legal to have alcohol on board a watercraft, it is unlawful for the operator to be impaired while driving. Operating a watercraft under the influence of alcohol is subject to the penalties of Boating Under the Influence. DNR law enforcement officers will be on the waterways ensuring that boaters are safe and in compliance with all rules and regulations. Officers will also be conducting boating under the influence screenings.
           
Some important rules for boaters to keep in mind:

The DNR reminds the public of Coast Watch, which was developed to better help citizens report violations of saltwater recreational and commercial fishing laws, as well as marine environmental laws. The Coast Watch hotline number (1-800-922-5431) is toll-free and available 24 hours a day.  

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.


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